12 Days of Trail Gifts For Under $50
Gift 5: Stay Alive & Thrive
Hiking Advice Books
Learning from experience can be great, and so can learning from a book. Information carried in the hiker mind weighs nothing, but can keep your hiker safe and happy on their adventure. These three books are full of useful knowledge to help your hiker lighten their pack weight, predict weather, navigate, plan food, keep clean, and deal with every eventuality of the trail.
1) Ultralight Backpackin’ Tips by Mike Clelland. This book is endlessly entertaining and informative. Mr. Clelland’s cartoons and well organized lessons will have your hiker laughing and soaking up all types of awesome bits of information. This book is like taking a course on backpacking with an excellent teacher who can dress up the most basic topic (like filling a water bottle) and make it exciting and new.
2)Justin “Trauma” Lichter’s Ultralight Survival Kit. Pocket sized and packed full of practical advice, this book is one your hiker can bring on the trail with them. Trauma shares some of the wisdom he has gained over his years of phenomenal and creative hikes in a humble and accessible way. He touches on how to deal with running out of food, being stalked by lions, bears, and mice, crossing rivers and snow fields, and many more of those challenges we hikers and our families worry about. This little book contains all kinds of confidence building tidbits, and helps foster an inventive, self reliant trail ethic.
3) Beyond Backpacking by Ray Jardine. This is the original handbook of the lightweight thru-hiking universe. First published in 1992, this tome is still relevant today. Some best practices have evolved since the last revision of this book, but the basics are mostly still the same. Jardine methodically goes through all aspects of backpacking from alcohol stoves & avalanches to water treatment and zippers. There is even a whole chapter on sewing your own gear, complete with patterns for tarps and backpacks. The practices laid out in Beyond Backpacking are a great jumping off point for hikers to develop their own systems.